Candice A. Alfano

Candice Alfano

Associate Professor
Director, Sleep and Anxiety
Center of Houston

Clinical Psychology
Ph.D., University of Maryland,
College Park

Clinical and Research Services, Room 1036

Biographical Summary

Dr. Alfano is a licensed clinical psychologist and Director of the Sleep and Anxiety Center for Kids (SACK) at UH. She received her M.S. in Developmental Psychology from Florida International University in 2000 and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Maryland at College Park in 2005. Dr. Alfano’s research program integrates two overlapping fields of study; the development and treatment of sleep and anxiety disorders, and the role of early sleep-wake processes in emotion dysregulation and the pathogenesis of affective illness. Her research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the Department of Defense (DoD). Dr. Alfano serves on the scientific council of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA), the board of directors for the Society for Behavioral Sleep Medicine (SBSM), and as Associate Editor for the Journal of Anxiety Disorders. She is co-author of the book, Child Anxiety Disorders: A Guide to Research and Treatment (2nd ed.),and co-editor of the book, Social Anxiety Disorder in Adolescents and Young Adults: Translating Developmental Science into Practice.

Research Interests

  • Etiology, risk and treatment of childhood anxiety disorders
  • Sleep-wake processes and the development of emotion dysregulation
  • Underlying mechanisms of effective behavioral interventions


  • Child Interventions
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Seminar in Sleep Disorders
  • Clinical Supervision


Selected Publications

Smith, V., Leppert, K., Alfano, C.A. & Dougherty, L. (in press). Construct Validity of the Parent-Child Sleep Interactions Scale (PSIS): Associations with Parenting, Family Stress, and Psychopathology. Sleep Medicine.

Patriquin, M., Mellman, T., Glaze. D. & Alfano, C.A. (in press). Polysomnographic sleep characteristics of generally-anxious and healthy children assessed in the home environment. Journal of Affective Disorders.

Cowie, J., Alfano, C.A., Patriquin, M. Reynolds, K., Clementi, M. & Talavera, D. (in press). Addressing Sleep in Children with Anxiety Disorders. Sleep Medicine Clinics.

Alfano, C.A., Reynolds, K.C., Reddy, R., Reuter, T., Pane, P & Sharp, C. (in press). Poor sleep quality is related to decreased emotional arousal in healthy girls. Journal of Experimental Psychopathology.

Clementi, M. & Alfano, C.A. (2014). Targeted Behavioral Therapy for childhood generalized anxiety disorder: A time-series analysis of changes in anxiety and sleep. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 28, 215–222.

Alfano, C.A., Smith, V., Reynolds, K., Reddy, R. & Dougherty, L. (2013). The Parent-Child Sleep Interactions Scale (PSIS) for Preschoolers: Factor Structure and Initial Psychometric Properties. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 9, 1153-1160

Alfano, C.A., Reynolds, K.C. Scott, N., Dahl, R.E. & Mellman, T.A. (2013). Polysomnographic sleep pattern of non-medicated, non-depressed children with generalized anxiety disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders,147, 379-384.

Alfano, C.A. (in press). Are children with 'pure' generalized anxiety disorder functionally impaired? A comparison with comorbid and healthy children. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

Kim, K.L., Reynolds, K. & Alfano, C.A. (2012). Social functioning in children with obsessive compulsive disorder: do comorbid ADHD symptoms account for impairment? Journal of Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders, 1, 228–233.

Hall Brown, T., Mellman, T.A., Alfano, C.A.  & Weems, C.F. (2011). Sleep fears, sleep disturbance and PTSD symptoms in minority youth exposed to Hurricane Katrina. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 24, 575-80.

Scharfstein, L., Alfano, C.A., Beidel, D.C. & Wong, N. (in press). Children with generalized anxiety disorder do not have peer problems, just fewer friends. Child Psychiatry & Human Development.

Alfano, C.A. & Kim, K.L. (2011). Objective sleep patterns and symptom severity in pediatric obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD): a pilot study. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 25, 835-839.

De Los Reyes, A., Alfano, C.A., & Beidel, D.C. (2011). Are clinicians’ assessments of improvements in children’s functioning “global”? Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 40, 281–294.

Alfano, C.A., Pina, A.A., Zerr, A.G. & Villalta, I.K. (2010). Pre-sleep arousal and sleep problems of anxiety-disordered youth. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 41, 156–167.

Alfano, C.A. & Gamble, A. (2009). The role of sleep in childhood psychiatric disorders. Child Youth Care Forum, 38, 327–340

Alfano, C.A., Pina, A.A., Villata, I.K., Beidel, D.C., Ammerman, R.T. & Crosby, L., (2009). Mediators and moderators of outcome in the behavioral treatment of childhood social phobia. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 48, 945-953.

Alfano, C.A., Zakem, A.H., Costa, N.M., Taylor, L.K. & Weems, C.F. (2009). Sleep problems and their relation to cognitive factors, anxiety and depressive symptoms in children and adolescents. Depression & Anxiety, 26, 503-512.

Alfano, C.A., Beidel, D.C. & Turner, S.M. (2008). Negative self-imagery in adolescents with social phobia: a test of an adult model of the disorder. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 37, 327-336.

Alfano, C.A., Ginsburg, G.S. & Kingery, J. (2007). Sleep-related problems among children and adolescents with anxiety disorders. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 46, 224-232.

Alfano, C.A., Beidel, D.C. & Turner, S.M. (2006). Cognitive correlates of social phobia among children and adolescents. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 34, 182-194.

Pina, A.A., Silverman, W.K., Alfano, C.A., & Saavedra, L.M. (2002). Diagnostic efficiency of symptoms in the diagnosis of DSM-IV generalized anxiety disorder in youth. Journal of Child Psychology, Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, 43, 1-9.

Alfano, C.A., Beidel, D.C. & Turner, S.M. (2002). Cognition in childhood anxiety: conceptual, developmental, and methodological issues. Clinical Psychology Review, 22, 1209-1238.